Platelets are the components of blood that allow it to prevent excessive bleeding and to heal wounds. Through a complex series of deposition and crosslinking techniques, researchers have recently built a synthetic version of the platelet that shares the natural cells characteristics. Synthetic platelets could have many biomedical uses.
New York University physicists have developed a method that models biological cell-to-cell adhesion that could also have industrial applications. This system is an oil-in-water solution whose surface properties reproduce those found on biological cells.
Researchers at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory have invented a simple, inexpensive dip-and-dry treatment can convert ordinary silk into a fabric that kills disease-causing bacteria—even the armor-coated spores of microbes like anthrax—in minutes.
Researchers in Germany have for years been studying fire beetles of the genus Melanophila and their sophisticated infrared sensors, which these pyrophilous insects use to detect forest fires. They have unraveled the functional principle of this photomechanical sensor and have started to work on a technical reconstruction.
The highly pathogenic hantavirus causes a condition known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which has a case fatality rate of 35-40%. To help the fight against a disease that has no vaccine, U.S. Army scientists and industry collaborators have successfully protected laboratory animals from lethal hantavirus disease using a novel approach that combines DNA vaccines and duck eggs.
Catching a crocodile or alligator to obtain a blood sample for testing is often done at night by a boat or a canoe. A snout snare eases the process, but it’s still a nerve-wracking experience. The samples are for the first mapping project for crocodile and alligator genomes, and it’s also the among the first such efforts to be done on a reptile species.
University of Iowa neuroscientist John Wemmie is interested in the effect of acid in the brain. His studies using new magnetic resonance imaging techniques suggest that increased acidity or low pH, in the brain is linked to panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. But his work also suggests that changes in acidity are important for normal brain activity too.
Blood tests convey vital medical information, but the sight of a needle often causes anxiety and results take time. A new device developed by a team of researchers in Israel, however, can reveal much the same information as traditional blood test in real-time, simply by shining a light through the skin.
Scientists had originally thought they could create a “magic bullet” to patrol for cancer cells in the body, but only 5% of injected nanoparticles reach the targeted tumor using current delivery techniques. A Johns Hopkins University scientist is now working on techniques to specify nanoparticle size and shape and improve the chances that the drug will find its target.
Not long after a partially paralyzed man in Switzerland used his mind to remotely control a small robot, a Massachusetts woman paralyzed for 15 years used only her thoughts to direct a robotic arm to pick up a bottle of coffee and bring it to her lips But will the experimental brain-controlled technology ever help paralyzed people in everyday life?
Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have discovered that the single protein, alpha 2 delta, exerts a spigot-like function that controls the volume of neurotransmitters and other chemicals that flow between the synapses of brain neurons. The surprising finding tells us not only how brain cells communicate, but also how a certain pain drug works.
A team from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has married biology and engineering to produce a biosensor device called the Dip Chip, which detects toxicity quickly and accurately, generating low false positive and false negative readings. The technology contains microbes designed to exhibit a biological reaction to toxic chemicals, emulating the biological responses of humans or animals.
A research team at Rutgers University has been able to take a new pharmacological approach to activate the immune cells to prevent cancer growth through stimulation of the opiate receptors found on immune cells.
A new essay in the journal PLoS Biology , examines what really constitutes “life” and the probability of discovering new life forms. Gerald Joyce, from The Scripps Research Institute, discusses in the essay the basic requirements for a life form to exist, and how it might fit into the forms alien life could take.
The superbugs have met their match. Conceived at Nanyang Technological University, it comes in the form of a coating which has a magnetic-like feature that attracts bacteria and kills them without the need for antibiotics.
A pill that has long been used to treat HIV has moved one step closer to becoming the first drug approved to prevent healthy people from becoming infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that Gilead Sciences' Truvada appears to be safe and effective for HIV prevention.
Over the past several decades, scientists have faced challenges in developing new antibiotics even as bacteria have become increasingly resistant to existing drugs. One strategy that might combat such resistance would be to overwhelm bacterial defenses by using highly targeted nanoparticles to deliver large doses of existing antibiotics. In a step toward that goal, researchers have developed a nanoparticle designed to evade the immune system and home in on infection sites, then unleash a focused antibiotic attack.
When the DNA double helix breaks, the broken end goes searching for the similar sequence and uses that as a template for repair. Using a new dual-molecule technique, a research group in the Netherlands has found out how the DNA molecule is able to perform this search and recognition process in such an efficient way.
Four months ago the U.S. government sought to block publication of two studies about how scientists created an easily spread form of bird flu. Now a revised version of one paper is seeing the light of day with the government's blessing. The second paper, which is more controversial because it involves what appears to be a more dangerous virus, is expected to be published later.
Industrial biotechnology companies rely heavily on patents to attract investment to fund R&D. The recent America Invents Act stands to have a significant impact on technology innovators such as biotech firms, and two recently published papers from patent law experts help explain the extent of these shifts.
Two Cornell University innovators from Africa have created a body suit embedded at the molecular level with insecticides to ward off mosquitoes infected with deadly malaria. The outfit could provide daytime protection and the insecticide does not dissipate like skin- or net-based repellants.
Using game theory and market dynamices, Harvard University economist Alvin Roth has helped develop a suite of computer programs that match living kidney donors with recipients. The software comprehensively addresses the common limitations of this complicated process, matching participants with compatible blood types and antibodies.
Development of new therapies for a range of medical conditions, including sports injuries and heart attacks, could depend on a new production-scale microthread extruder developed by a team of graduate students and biomedical engineering faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The microthreads would support tissue regeneration, wound healing, and cell therapy.
With the development of synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have observed, in real time the process of protein phosphorylation—a chemical interaction that controls everything from cell proliferation to differentiation to metabolism—in living cells stimulated by nerve growth factor.
The major form of lactoferrin is an important iron-binding protein secreted into human biofluids such as milk, blood, tears, and saliva. Because it is responsible for most of the host-defense properties, researchers are starting to use lactoferrin as a potential therapeutic protein.